Only 3 days in Morroco, which city to choose?

Dec 25th, 2017, 12:33 PM
  #1  
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Only 3 days in Morroco, which city to choose?

We just decided to celebrate our 25 year wedding anniversary in Morocco and Spain but only have 3 nights to spend in Morocco. Which city to visit? Marrakech, Fez, Casablanca?

After Morocco we will fly to Seville for another three nights and then spend 2 nights in Madrid before heading home.

Looking forward to some advice.
Lunita is offline  
Dec 25th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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Definitely not Casablanca.

Marrakech has better air links than Fez, for example, direct low cost flight to Sevilla.
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Dec 25th, 2017, 01:23 PM
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Thank you TimCullins. Yes we are thinking to take the direct fright from Marrakesh To seville. Would 3 nights give us time tobget good taste of Morocco?
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Dec 25th, 2017, 01:35 PM
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I was about to recommend Marrakech because of the flight issue and also because I like it. But do check and see if there are flights from Fez, they seem to come & go, while there always seem to be some from Marrakech. Most flights are from Casablanca but, as TimCullis says, not there.

Yes, a taste of 1 city, but not of Morocco, as each city and parts of the country are different in various ways. But I'd stick with 1 city for your 3 nights/2 full days. If you like what you see this trip I suspect you'll be back for more.
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Dec 25th, 2017, 02:11 PM
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Thank you Mme Perdu. I just checked and Ryan air does have a flight from Fez to Seville on Wednesday’s. Would you go to Fez over Marrakech? And yes We will be back at another time?
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Dec 25th, 2017, 02:32 PM
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"Would you go to Fez over Marrakech?"

No, I wouldn't, but there are those who prefer Fes over Marrakech. It's just very subjective. I can imagine living in Marrakech but, despite having enjoyed Fes, I don't enjoy it as much. I suggest you do a bit of reading and see how you feel after you do. I wouldn't take my word on Marrakech, nor anyone else's on Fes. But I think it hardly matters for just 3 nights and you'll see the other next time.
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Dec 26th, 2017, 06:22 AM
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I certainly preferred Fez over Marrakesh. Marrakesh is more touristy, however, you could maybe fit in a day trip to Essaouira from Marrakesh. Also, Marrakesh might be easier to handle as an intro to Morocco
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Dec 26th, 2017, 07:13 AM
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There's more of both cities that aren't touristy and I find Marrakech an easy place to get off the beaten path. But, as mentioned, it's subjective. I think you'll enjoy either, though I'd disagree that using a day to leave town, despite loving Essaouira, would be the best use of your time, there's so much to see in Marrakech.
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Dec 26th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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I preferred Fes because of its exotic medieval medina, but Marrakech may have more varied sites to visit. I you do get to Fes and would like to take a day trip, the Roman ruins at Volubilis have some outstanding mosaics.
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Dec 26th, 2017, 08:47 AM
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I think Volubilis is a convenient stop on the way, for instance, to Chefchaouen but, again, I wouldn't take what would amount to a big chunk of only 2 full days (with 3 nights) to leave town for it. It's an interesting site but not thrilling. If you're in Fes, I'd just stay and enjoy the city (as always, just my opinion).

I'll add that in either Fes or Marrakech, don't discount the newer parts of both cities, outside the medinas. Fes Ville Nouvelle has a lively restaurant scene in the evenings with tables on sidewalks and people out & about. Marrakech has the French-built Gueliz district and the Majorelle Gardens, a wonderful place most recently renovated by the late Yves Saint Laurent. http://jardinmajorelle.com/ang/
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Dec 26th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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If going in winter, I'd go to Marrakech. Other seasons to Fez which is overall more interesting.
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Jan 16th, 2018, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I certainly preferred Fez over Marrakesh. Marrakesh is more touristy, however, you could maybe fit in a day trip to Essaouira from Marrakesh. Also, Marrakesh might be easier to handle as an intro to Morocco
If you wanted to take a day trip to Essaouira, can you recommend the best way to travel there and back (assuming you don't want to drive)?
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Jan 16th, 2018, 03:43 PM
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There are 2 ways to get from Marrakech to Essaouira. Grand taxi - the taxis that are allowed to take people long distances. And the buses, nice ones, Supratours or CTM, which I now prefer to the grand taxis, I find them more comfortable. I don't know if the schedules are convenient for a day trip. Much better to stay at least 1 night. The bus drops you off right outside the wall in Essaouira, about as close as a grand taxi can. The advantage to a grand taxi is that you can book one to depart from your hotel, or nearby, at your convenience. Since I've never done a day trip I don't know what they'd charge to wait for a return trip the same day. But your hotel or riad will know.
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Jan 16th, 2018, 03:56 PM
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Thank you!
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Jan 16th, 2018, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bedar View Post
If going in winter, I'd go to Marrakech. Other seasons to Fez which is overall more interesting.
I disagree, find Marrakech more interesting. But it's completely subjective and giving an opinion doesn't make it so, it's still just an opinion. Everyone must decide for themselves and why short trips can be so misleading, not enough time to find the place we might love best.
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Jan 16th, 2018, 04:19 PM
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Fes!
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Jan 16th, 2018, 09:59 PM
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The travel links and timing are a strong consideration especially for a short visit. But all things being equal, I much preferred Fes over Marrakesh. I went expecting to love Marrakesh... and there were things about it I did really like. But in the end, Fes had the mystery, the magic, the vibe where Marrakesh felt more tourist centric.
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Jan 17th, 2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CounterClifton View Post
Marrakesh felt more tourist centric.
True if you stay in the more tourist-oriented parts of the medina. But it's so easy to not, I just can't agree with that statement. I stayed several times in a small riad in the Bab Doukkala area and hardly see another tourist though it's only about a 10 min. walk from Place Jemaa el-Fna. Local market nearby, a great bakery, about as good as it gets. Also once in the other direction, same, walk 10 minutes in any direction and you're out of the tourist area. Anyone who declares that Marrakech is too touristy is, it would seem to me, not going very far off the beaten path and it's so easy to do.
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Jan 17th, 2018, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CounterClifton View Post
The travel links and timing are a strong consideration especially for a short visit. But all things being equal, I much preferred Fes over Marrakesh. I went expecting to love Marrakesh... and there were things about it I did really like. But in the end, Fes had the mystery, the magic, the vibe where Marrakesh felt more tourist centric.
My experience exactly.
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Jan 17th, 2018, 07:48 PM
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MmePerdu, I can definitely appreciate that a quiet area to retreat to is a great strategy. And we may have suffered a bit in Marrakesh for having had to abandoned ship at one such outlying riad (really awful) and found another on foot. So having a group of them together had made finding one that night easier. Plus there was a taxi strike on and we'd already hitchhiked with a plumber in his van from the train station, so being closer in just sort of made sense.

But I figure wherever you go, wherever you sleep, you're bound to go spend a fair amount of time around the main areas a city is famous for too. The djemma el fna is a wonder, no doubt. But it, the souks, pretty much anything we'd hoped to see around town was a bit over the top with the sheer volume of interest in what we tourists were up to. Glad we visited, but Fes allowed us more freedom of movement. Plus Fes just felt so... impenetrable and timeless, in a good way.

Marrakesh's best bit for us was having befriended a rug salesman who was touting. (we don't hate touts, just being swarmed). He spent parts of several days just showing us around his neighbourhood, bits and pieces behind the souks. The hammam and the coal fired room that creates the steam and was also where kids would bring the family tagines in the morning to be buried in the coals. We'd find roof angles so we could see down in the mosque, since we weren't allowed to enter. Took us to an upstairs hole-in-the-wall for some excellent rabbit tagine. That was a view of Marrakesh I won't forget, but it's not necessarily the sort of experience we'd have had if we hadn't sort of clicked with Mohammad.

Last edited by CounterClifton; Jan 17th, 2018 at 07:56 PM.
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